College basketball fans give a thumbs down to tournament expansion

In a survey released yesterday by Public Opinion Strategies, a solid majority (59{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of basketball fans oppose expanding the NCAA tournament from a 64 team tournament to a 96 team tournament.  Just 29{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of college basketball fans support expansion and ten percent are undecided. 

The survey was conducted April 11-13 among 800 likely 2010 voters and 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of those interviewed identified themselves as college basketball fans. 

Among all voters, the results are 20{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} total favor/46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} total oppose.  College basketball fans feel strongly about the proposal because intensity is twice is high among opponents (38{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} strongly oppose) than supporters (16{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} strongly favor), which will hopefully serve as a warning sign for NCAA officials.

So who are these college basketball fans who want to keep the tournament as is?

  • Slightly more than half are college graduates
  • One-half live in households with income over $60,000
  • Politically they are split (31{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} GOP/32{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Dem/37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Ind) – similar to the overall electorate
  • Are more likely to drink alcohol than voters overall (57{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} versus 51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222})
  • A majority are male (58{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222})

I’m with the majority of college basketball fans and oppose expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams. Why mess with something the fans do not want?  Here’s hoping the leadership at the NCAA is listening.

Public Opinion Strategies